List of False Teachers

HomeFalse TeachingsList of False Teachers

I’m often asked to assess what others teach. I do not do this lightly, but it is necessary. Before reading this page, or any of the pages about specific people, I recommend that you read What is a False Teacher?, which explains what the Bible says about false teachers, and why I would bother to research who they are and what they say.

Which people are false teachers?

If Christianity is true – and I’m convinced that it is – then everyone who teaches something different is incorrect. That doesn’t mean that every non-Christian is a false teacher. For the purposes of instruction, false teachers are those who claim to preach the gospel but do not. I can’t judge whether someone is sincerely wrong or whether they’re abusing others in the name of Jesus for personal gain. I will not judge whether someone is, or is not, a Christian. I can only judge what they teach, and whether it contradicts the clear message of the Bible.

Below are two lists. The first is of people, groups, and ideas. The second is a list of Bibles that should not be used. Both lists are incomplete, and – unfortunately – always will be. Not every person on the people list should be considered a false teacher. If they’re on the list, there are either serious questions about something they teach, or they identify themselves as partners with false teachers, or as students of false teachers.

Most of the people on this list are prominent leaders in specific unbiblical movements. Because those movements are full of false teachings, those leaders are necessarily teaching falsely as well. As I have time, I will write individual articles on each, outlining things they have said and written that are unbiblical or problematic. Remember that the goal is not to gossip or slander, but to expose unbiblical ideas by comparing them with biblical ideas.

Click column headers to sort

Name, Group, or IdeaFalse Teachings
Arnold Murray (Shepherd’s Chapel)British Israelism, annihilation, pre-existence, modalism, serpent seed, and more
Benny HinnWord of Faith
Bethel Church (Redding, CA)NAR
Bill JohnsonNAR
Brian SimmonsNAR, The Passion Bible
Bob JonesNAR
C. Peter WagnerNAR
Charles CappsWord of Faith
Che AhnNAR
Creflo DollarWord of Faith
Dominion TheologyNAR
Dwight ThompsonWord of Faith
Earnest AngleyWord of Faith
Eddie LongWord of Faith
EW KenyonWord of Faith
Five-fold Ministry
Frederick KC PriceWord of Faith
Hillsong (Australia and worldwide)NAR
IHOPNAR
James GollNAR
Jerry SavelleWord of Faith
Jesse DuplantisWord of Faith
Joel’s ArmyNAR
Joel OsteenWord of Faith
John AvanziniWord of Faith
John WimberNAR
Joseph PrinceWord of Faith
Joyce MeyerWord of Faith
Juanita BynumWord of Faith
Kenneth CopelandWord of Faith
Kenneth HaginWord of Faith
Kim ClementNAR
Kingdom NowNAR
Latter Rain Movement
Marilyn HickeyWord of Faith
Mike BickelNAR
Mike MurdockWord of Faith
Morris CerruloWord of Faith
New Apostolic Reformation
Norvel HayesWord of Faith
Paul Yonggi ChoWord of Faith
Paul and Jan CrouchWord of Faith
Paula WhiteWord of Faith
Peter Popoff
Rick JoynerNAR
Robert TiltonWord of Faith
Rod ParsleyWord of Faith
Rodney Howard-BrowneWord of Faith
Spiritual MappingNAR
Steve ShultzNAR
Steven FurtickNAR, Word of Faith
TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network)NAR, Word of Faith
TD JakesWord of Faith
The Elijah ListNAR
Third Wave
Todd BentleyNAR
Toronto Blessing / Brownsville RevivalNAR
William BranhamNAR
Word of Faith

Problematic Bibles

I’m regularly asked about whether a specific Bible is good or bad. Most of the Bibles in the world as just fine. They adequately communicate God’s message to humanity without significantly substituting human ideas or traditions for divine revelation.

That’s not the whole story, of course. There are a number of Bibles that should be avoided entirely. This list is incomplete, and I have not written about each individually to this point, but I will as time permits.

Bible VersionProblems
JST
Joseph Smith Translation
An altered version of the King James Bible designed to fit the theology of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), a pseudo-Christian cult.
NWT
New World Translation
Produced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a pseudo-Christian cult, to fit their own theology.
TPT
The Passion Bible
Not translated by a qualified team, but paraphrased by one person, Brian Simmons. Designed to promote unbiblical New Apostolic Reformation principles, not to reflect what eyewitnesses to Jesus’ ministry originally wrote.

Special Rules for Commenting

Pretty much everybody has an opinion. I’m not interested in opinions here. I’m interested in FACTS. You may like a particular teacher, and someone else may dislike them. Neither makes them a good teacher or a bad teacher. It’s what they SAY and DO that matters. So:


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98 responses to “List of False Teachers”

  1. keith says:

    do you believe in the baptism of the holy spirit and do you believe
    that speaking in tongues is also for today. people sometimes say
    that they ceased. i enjoyed your conv. about sabbath regs.

    • Tony says:

      Keith:

      I believe that what the Bible says is true. In Matthew 3:11 we see John the Baptist’s words: I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. There is a baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a spiritual parallel. The Jews baptized converts, and the early church baptized converts. Water baptism is a ceremony where someone is welcomed into a community of faith. When someone receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they are welcomed into the Body of Christ. They are born again, and the Holy Spirit begins to dwell in them.

      I don’t know what you mean by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but that’s what the Bible teaches about it.

      I believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in operation today. I do not believe that everyone who claims to be exercising those gifts is being honest about it. My experiences in Pentecostal churches have shown me that there are plenty of fakers out there. In my opinion, the Charismatic/Pentecostal churches often do a great disservice to the Kingdom of God by first obsessing over the gifts, then teaching poorly about the gifts, and then allowing people to counterfeit the gifts in their assemblies. Christianity – as a religion – is growing quickly in many parts of the world, and that’s encouraging… but much of that growth has come because the prosperity gospel is being preached to poor people. That’s not encouraging at all.

      Thanks for your kind words, Keith. Have a great day!

      • Stuart McGregor says:

        Hi Tony thanks for all the great information and guidance makes you think again! Do you have any leading teachers you recommend both now and in the past. Thoughts on Billy Graham and now his son, and Smith Wigglesworth? Thanks

        • Tony says:

          Stuart:

          Billy Graham’s teachings are fine. In his early years, I’m led to understand that he hardly ever mentioned the resurrection of Jesus… that it was His death alone that Graham focused on. Later, he seemed to expand his teaching to include the resurrection. That’s about it. I’ve never heard anything he said that I found directly contradicted the Bible.

          I haven’t spent a lot of time analyzing Franklin Graham’s theology. I think we can assume that he agrees with this Statement of Faith, as he’s the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. There’s nothing there that I would consider unbiblical.

          As for Smith Wigglesworth, I would avoid him. I don’t know a lot about him, but there are a few things that I find troubling. First, he often taught that illnesses were the result of demonic activity and unbelief. Needless to say – well, I wish it didn’t need to be said, but it too often does – that’s entirely unbiblical. He claimed to have raised the dead, and distributed ‘prayer cloths.’ These sort of things, in my estimation, simply have no place in the life of the Bible-believing Christian. His excesses seem to be the same excesses we see in other Pentecostal offenders, and I would not consider him a reliable teacher.

          • Andrew says:

            Franklin Graham is joining events with Paula White and Joseph Cahn

          • Tony says:

            Andrew:

            Please respond with links. It’s not enough to make a claim without context. If we’re going to complain that someone is off-base, we need to first establish that our observations are accurate. I’m not saying I don’t believe you. I’m saying that we should be diligent in avoiding even the appearance of gossip.

            Besides: Walter Martin went on TBN. I would suggest that most of the people on TBN are false teachers, but that doesn’t mean Martin was a false teacher. He spent his career pointing out false teachers. If Graham goes to events with false teachers, that doesn’t indicate that he is one.

            Thanks!

          • Jan Winnard says:

            RE: Franklin Graham, I have for many years facilitated Collection of Shoeboxes in connection with his Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, and had no concerns about Franklin’s faith until after I recently learned how he had joined hands with NAR proponents, and false teacher Paula White, (Trump’s “spiritual adviser”) in the very active promotion of Donald Trump for President. I had wondered, after the shameful violence perpetrated by Trump at the Capitol on January 6th, how in the world the words “evangelical Christianity” could have become so closely associated with Mr. Trump, and it was only then I discovered that many well known Christian leaders in America, Franklin included, had, in effect, failed to discern the spirit that was moving in, around, and through Mr. Trump. Many NAR proponents and WOF teachers (including Rodney Howard-Browne) recognized in Trump “a kindred spirit” and “laid hands on him” effectively anointing him as their “leader” shortly after his election in 2017.
            https://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/article160904779.html
            https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2019/11/26/commentary-how-many/

            I had no idea this had taken place, either. I am evangelical, and a Christian, but I never discerned in Mr. Trump anything even remotely resembling the Holy Spirit, and never voted for him. Truth be told, past two elections I’ve simply written in a vote for “Jesus.”

            I just sent Franklin Graham a loving, respectful letter, asking him to please do some research on the NAR and WOF movements, and consider the possibility that what he chose to join hands with in the promotion of this man in the name of “evangelical Christianity” was far from holy or God ordained. How I pray that word gets out among our Bible believing churches, and Bible-preaching pastors in America that the spirit that was behind the Trump phenomenon was not the Holy Spirit at all, and had Trump been re-elected, this nation would have found itself subject to the whims of a man motivated by the same spirit that is working in the NAR and the WOF movements to create a “Theocracy” in America, with false prophets and false teachers in positions of pulling no few number of strings behind the scenes.

          • Tony says:

            Jan:

            Thanks for your comment. I too have been involved with Samaritan’s Purse. It’s a good thing to do.

            The fact that Franklin Graham agreed with false teachers about their political candidate of choice doesn’t indicate that he agrees with them about everything. Bible-believing protestant Christians can work together with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics and atheists to prevent abortion… but that doesn’t mean they agree on anything beyond the sanctity of life. I’m happy to hear that you’ve written a letter. It’s possible that Franklin has no idea what they believe. I assume he’s pretty busy and spends little or no time looking into false teachers like Paula White and Rodney Howard-Browne. Most people have never heard of the NAR or WoF. We would have good reasons to be concerned if he agrees with them on theological matters. Unless we find that to be the case, I wouldn’t consider his association with them to be a concern.

  2. Tom Carpio says:

    Hi, I just wanted to ask, is the TBN you are referring to in the list “False Teachers” the TV station “Trinity Broadcasting Network”? I follow and watch Dr. David Jeremiah’s teaching from that station. But the station also air most of the “false teachers” you were referring to, so I’m confused. But thanks to the list you have provided. I believe them to be true. I have watched Joseph Prince a couple of times and I might have missed the points you have made about him, maybe because of my hard of hearing? Thank you for what you do, sir!

    • Tony says:

      Tom:

      Thanks for asking! Yes, the TBN on my list is the Trinity Broadcasting Network. In no way to I mean to imply that everyone associated with them, or everyone who appears on air, is suspect. The founders, and most of the show hosts, are part of the Word of Faith movement… and so, because they teach false things, they’re on the list. I respect David Jeremiah very much, and have never heard him say anything I considered problematic.

      As for Joseph Prince, I have an article about him specifically. As I point out in the article, I really like a LOT of what he says. Unfortunately, saying true things doesn’t undo saying false things… so, in spite of my appreciation for much of what Prince teaches, I feel the need to point out the unbiblical things that he does teach. Does that make sense?

      • Andrew says:

        David Jeremiah is now actively joining hands with jim bakker

        • Tony says:

          Andrew:

          Please respond with links. It’s not enough to make a claim without context. If we’re going to complain that someone is off-base, we need to first establish that our observations are accurate. I’m not saying I don’t believe you. I’m saying that we should be diligent in avoiding even the appearance of gossip.

          Thanks!

  3. Anders Jonsson says:

    In response to Keith’s question about tongues, I would like to refer to a couple verses that I think support cessationism. Matt. 9.6 declares why Jesus did miracles: that men might know that He has power on earth to forgive sins. Similarly, Heb. 2.4 tells how God gave the apostles miraculous powers to confirm their testimonies. From the context it seems, to me at least, that those special powers were for that specific time. There was a reason for them then. Just like in the days of Moses and in the days of Elijah. Of course, God can do something similar at some future time. But I don’t see any evidence of it today.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      Cessationism is an interesting topic. For those who don’t know, it’s the belief that spiritual gifts (like speaking in tongues) were only for the apostles, or for the first generation of Christians. Let’s take a look at what you’ve written…

      >> miracles
      It’s biblically accurate to suggest that the primary function of Jesus’ miracles was to establish His identity as God and Messiah. One might suggest that spiritual gifts do not fall under the category of miracles. Yes, the Reformation argument for cessationism (where the idea comes from) was in response to Roman Catholic claims of miracles, but it’s not at all clear to me that they are the same.

      >> Heb. 2.4 tells how God gave the apostles miraculous powers to confirm their testimonies.

      That’s NOT what Hebrews 2:4 tells us. Here it is, with context:
      We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

      Notice that there’s no mention of apostles… not in the previous chapter or anywhere in chapter 2. Hebrews 2:4 is most definitely NOT an argument for cessationism, as it provides no evidence that the ‘signs, wonders, and various miracles’ have not been distributed by the Holy Spirit beyond the apostolic age.

      To make a serious claim for cessationism, one would also need to explain modern occurrences of the manifestation of spiritual gifts… not just tongues, but the rest. After spending time with many missionaries over the years, it seems far too broad to claim that they are all counterfeits, and that God doesn’t work that way anymore. I’m very skeptical of the typical CharisPental claims about what happens in their churches, but I’m unable to rule out the sincere and mature believers I’ve known for years who explain their own personal experiences that make cessationism, for me, untenable.

  4. Anders says:

    Yes, cessationism is an interesting topic, and yes, there is a lot to be skeptical about regarding charismatic/pentecostal claims. And yes, things happen on the mission field that don’t seem to happen in Europe or America. But here is my question: Salvation was announced (past tense) by the Lord. It was confirmed to us (past tense) by THOSE WHO HEARD HIM. (How is that not a reference to apostles?) And God testified (past tense) to their witness by… gifts of the Holy Spirit. Does not Heb. 2.4 at least give some weight to the cessationists argument?
    That said, I noticed for the first time that the KJV seems to support the cessationist view more than other versions I’ve read. Heb. 2.4 in the KJV reads, “God also bearing THEM witness with… gifts.” And the THEM is in italics. ie. not found in the Greek. So the KJV reader could deduce that the signs and gifts were given “them”, but not “us”.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      No, Hebrews 2:4 says nothing about cessationism, and gives no weight to any cessationist argument. The fact that something happened in the past tense is no indication that it was a one-time event, or a closed series of events. I do understand the point of cessationism… the miracles that occurred in the first century provided strong evidence that Jesus is who He claims to be. When John the Baptist wanted to know with certainty that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus pointed to His works. That’s plain to see. That’s not the whole story, however. The miracles established Jesus’ identity, but that’s not all they did. They also, for example, healed people. That’s not nothing, that’s something. People need healing, and Jesus provided it. Those healings pointed to a greater spiritual reality, but they were also a lesser physical reality that we shouldn’t discount.

      There’s no question that God heals today. A member of my family was miraculously healed. I have friends who have been miraculously healed. To make a cessationist argument hold water, we have to go beyond the clear Scriptures into speculation. Speculation is okay. I like to speculate. I’m sure you would agree that we should avoid making doctrinal statements that can only be based in speculation. There are no Bible verses that clearly spell out the end of spiritual gifts, or the end of miracles… and none point to a future ending here on earth.

      As for the italicized words, I’m not going to be critical there. We simply need to employ all of the tools at our disposal to interpret the Bible, and that includes all of the manuscripts. The KJV translators didn’t have access to the enormous wealth of manuscripts that we’ve found in the past 400 years. They did the best they could, but the Greek doesn’t suggest a ‘them.’

      συνεπιμαρτυροῦντος τοῦ θεοῦ σημείοις τε καὶ τέρασιν καὶ ποικίλαις δυνάμεσιν καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου μερισμοῖς κατὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ θέλησιν
      συνεπιμαρτυροῦντος τοῦ θεοῦ σημείοις τε καὶ τέρασιν καὶ ποικίλαις δυνάμεσιν καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου μερισμοῖς κατὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ θέλησιν

      God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. It’s the same in the Textus Receptus as in the other manuscripts, which tells us that the “them” probably doesn’t belong. Good catch, though. One more reason that the KJV should be appreciated, but superceded… don’t you think?

    • John Dueck says:

      The word “them” in Hebrews 2:4 I believe the translators could not translate the sentence from the Greek to English properly so the added “them” in italics so it made sense.

  5. Tommy Belesky says:

    i have been giving money to benny hinn ministries for years and your telling me he is a false teacher??? what about texe marrs and rebecca brown who was really ruth bailey, both are dead, they were false teachers, what about Alan Beal who may have a different last name cause of marriage from gore, new zealand, is he not a false teacher?

    • Tony says:

      Tommy:

      Yes, Benny Hinn is a false teacher. This is beyond dispute. The only people who defend Hinn as a good teacher are those who are engrossed in his ministry to the point that they stop comparing what he teaches against God’s Word. I’m sorry that you’ve faithfully given your money to a trickster, but that’s what he is. He’s one of the worst offenders. I’ve begun compiling a list of some of the outrageous things he’s taught. I’ll give you one for the moment: there are nine members of the Godhead. That’s right. Benny Hinn taught that the Father is a trinity, the Son is a trinity, and the Holy Spirit is a trinity… and clarified it by saying there ARE nine of them in total. He certainly preaches a prosperity gospel, which is clearly false. There are plenty of websites online that outline what’s Hinn has said, so you don’t have to take my word for it. In fact, Hinn himself – several times over the years, including last year – has said that he has taught falsely. That’s the most believable thing I’ve heard him say so far.

      I don’t want to demean him personally. That’s not my goal. My goal is to make sure that good people like you know the difference between what Jesus said and what false teachers say. My list is very incomplete so far. I don’t know much about Texe Marrs yet, but Rebecca Brown was definitely a false teacher. I don’t know about Alan Beal, but I will put him on my list of people to check out. Thanks for writing!

  6. Andrew says:

    Do you take recommendations for other false teachings / teachers to be added to this list?

    • Tony says:

      Andrew:

      Yes, of course. The list is very incomplete, and there are many false teachers I’ve never heard of. If you can, with your recommendations, describe what you see as their false teaching, that would also be helpful. Thanks!

  7. Cindy says:

    What do you know about Joseph A Cortez? I ran across a e-book of his on Revelation and I’ve NEVER heard such things EVER. Some of it sounds interesting but Im not sure I trust his teaching. Ive never heard of him until now.

    • Tony says:

      Cindy:

      I’ve not heard of him. Is there something about what you’ve read that concerns you?

      In your shoes, I would remain skeptical for a time. Please also remain skeptical of me and what I’ve written. Check things out for yourself. Compare what’s written with what you read in your Bible. Compare what’s written with other, well-established Christian teachers. Pray that the Holy Spirit, who is God, will help you understand what God’s Word says.

      Generally speaking, I don’t concern myself much with prophecy and ‘last days’ things. It’s not that I consider them unimportant. They’re in the Bible, so we should be familiar with them. However: I’m instantly skeptical of any teacher, church, or movement that focuses heavily on those things. Jesus taught that we should be ready for His return at any time. He also explained that while there are signs of His coming, nobody knows when it will be. We should be less focused on WHEN He’s coming back and more focused on what we’re supposed to be doing UNTIL He comes back. Having taught Revelation myself, I find that an undue fascination with prophecy too often turns into an obsession that keeps believers busy thinking about current events, rather than being focused on obeying Jesus by living what He taught, including being a witness for Him and serving others.

      We would all do well to focus on the core of the gospel, and make sure that we’re ready for His return as well. Let me know if there’s any way I can help you with that. Thanks!

  8. Anders says:

    Never heard of Joseph Cortes before, but I watched a one-hour video by him (nr. 9-302 from 2009) out of curiosity, and have to admit I was quite taken. I’ve never claimed to understand Revelations, but what Cortes teaches is radical, grounded, and makes one want hear more. His premise is that the book was written for Christians but not to us. It was written to the Jews. Much in the chapters concerns events that are past. He identifies anti-Christ, explains Jacob’s troubles, and shows where USA in named in Scripture.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      Thanks for the info. I would dispute his claim that Revelation was written to the Jews. I mean, the first three chapters are written to churches. Jews didn’t go to church, they went to synagogue. The biblical term Christian only applies to those who are born again, while the term Jew applied to the entire nation of Israel. Clearly, Revelation was written to believers, and not just those who traced their lineage to Abraham. There’s no question that Revelation was written to believers in a Jewish context, as the majority of its verses refer to Old Testament passages… but that doesn’t mean it was written to the nation of Israel.

      I’m a partial preterist. That means that I believe some of the prophetic events of Revelation have already occurred. On that he and I might agree. On seeing the USA in Scripture, I have grave doubts. The only way that America is mentioned in the Bible is if we’re actually IN the last days, and I’m not sure of that at all. Most preterists would question it.

      I haven’t heard or read anything by him, so I’m in no position to judge anything beyond what you’ve written. I do appreciate you taking the time, by the way. I would caution you, and anyone else, to spend very little time studying eschatology. The lessons of Scripture do not much include being up to date on how current events might or might not fit into apocalyptic Scriptures. The lessons do very much include being ready, and being ON TASK. That is, particularly, knowing and doing what the rest of the New Testament says. End-times stuff matters, but far less than seeking His kingdom today.

  9. Anders says:

    After listening to more of Joseph Cortes (pronounced Courts) I would second your caution about focusing too much on eschatology. I guess the other ditch to be avoided would be ignoring it all together, which is the tendency in the Lutheran church. Cortes rambles and teases but in general it seems to me that he is wanting to expose pre trib premillennialism as false teaching which first appeared with Darby around 1830. Fascinating study, but not easy to come to any final resolution.

    • Tony says:

      Thanks for the update, Anders. We agree: if it’s in the Bible, we should be aware of it, and spend time working to understand it. Making one thing a primary focus, however, seems unwise. I have a friend who’s concerned about the salvation of young people… and somehow believes that focusing almost exclusively on Genesis 1-3 is the key. I have another friend who wants believers to receive all that God has for them… and somehow believes that focusing on our identity in Christ is the key. Still others believe that the key is ‘praying on’ the armor of God each morning, or that observing the feasts of Judaism unlocks all understanding, and so on. All of these things are good, but ultimately detrimental to their faith because they lack the wisdom to study ALL of the Scriptures. You seem far, far wiser than they. Have a great day!

  10. Jeannette says:

    A friend of mine was asking if I could find any solid information about Steve Maltz, as someone she knows thinks he is wonderful. Being certain he is a false teacher, she is concerned. A search sent me here and I like what I see so far – especially as you are not a cessationist! So many are, understandably, put off genuine spiritual gifts by all the deceptive and demonic things claimed to be from the Holy Spirit and lump them all together as evil by definition.

    Do you have any information besides his NAR connection that might help pin down what Steve Maltz teaches?

    Thank you

    • Tony says:

      Jeannette:

      Thanks for asking. With regard to spiritual gifts, I see no good arguments for cessationism. I do see plenty of opinions, but they seem to contradict both Scripture and experience.

      I’d never heard of Steve Maltz. I’m pretty good at finding things online, but I can’t find anything related directly to what he believes. I see nothing at this point to indicate that he’s a false teacher, but it appears that he focuses strongly on prophecy. Most of the time, people asking whether someone is a false teacher are really asking whether someone’s understanding of prophecy is biblically accurate. They don’t know much about what Jesus taught, and haven’t studied the Bible… so they’re drawn to the sensational, which is often someone teaching about biblical prophecy. I don’t know if that describes your friend or not, of course… but there are SO MANY good teachers out there that I would simply steer clear of anyone who spends a lot of time on prophecy.

      While prophecy is important – it IS in the Bible, after all – it’s not THAT important. Consider all of the rest of the Bible, and ask whether focusing on one facet of God’s Word is a wise and healthy approach to spiritual maturity. I would strongly suggest that it’s not. Any teacher or preacher whose main focus is prophecy has often, in my experience, abandoned what Jesus taught and commanded in favor of talking about topics that immature believers find more fascinating.

      Until I can find more on Steve Maltz, I would rest on this: if he’s connected IN ANY WAY to prominent NAR folks, he’s to be avoided at all costs. They’re not just a little off-base. They’re not just interpreting unclear Scriptures in a slightly different way than I prefer. The foundation of what they teach is contrary to God’s Word, and that should be enough.

      • Jeannette says:

        Thank you for your reply and for the good work you are doing.

        It seems that Steve Maltz must remain a mystery for now, but the Lord will make things plain (Malachi 3:18?).

        My friend’s friend is the one who (after appearing very “sound” and balanced as long as she has known her) seems to have become enthralled by false teachers. One of them was obvious, such as a doctor who turned out on a quick check to be a New Age “Healing guru” talking about “Listening to your body and “Connecting with the Divine”.

        I hope that I’m not too obsessed with prophecy as such. Yet it seems plain that we are seeing the great apostasy foretold in scripture happening before our eyes. So many Christian leaders seem to be suddenly falling away and taking their followers with them, while false teachers and prophets multiply.

        It’s a fine line, isn’t it – being aware of the signs of the times and Enemy tactics, yet not becoming an ardent “Conspiracy theorist”. Isaiah 8:11-14 is always a steadying influence.

        Yours in Christ

        Jeannette

  11. Anders says:

    Steve Maltz has written a book called, God’s Signature, The Wonders of the Hebrew Language. According to Amazon, “you will learn in this book: How Moses wrote his five books; How the Hebrew language speaks to us; What God’s real name is; Which translations of the Bible are truly inspired; What the Jewish scribes did for us; What separates man from the animals; Where Jesus hid in the Old Testament; Which Hebrew letter spoke of the virgin birth; Which method of Bible interpretation you never hear about; How to say the Aaronic blessing properly;” You can also hear Maltz on Youtube where he, for example, explains how the church lost the truth.

    • Tony says:

      That last bit got me, Anders. “How the church lost the truth” is the refuge of gnosticism, most cults of Christianity, and theological liberals around the globe. The presumption is that those in power preferred certain messages and didn’t prefer others, and so they suppressed the “real truth.” We should be soooo grateful for these amazing leaders who, like Joseph Smith, have “restored” the gospel for us.

      I hope you don’t mind a bit of sarcasm. There’s no sense in which the church lost the truth. Agreed?

    • Jeannette says:

      Thank you. Yes “How the church lost the truth” does sound rather strange and even cult-like. The only problem is in knowing exactly what “Truth” it’s supposed to have lost. It doesn’t sound like it but it could simply mean the truth that we need to repent and be saved, instead of the modern tendency of preaching “Gospel lite”

      It also sounds as if he may be into “Hebrew Roots”. Or might he just be explaining how the Bible should be understood from the Jewish perspective in which it was already written.

    • Jeannette says:

      Don’t misunderstand my last comment. It does seem certain Steve Maltz is dodgy. It’s just that false teachers tend to wriggle out of criticism by saying they didn’t mean what we think they mean

  12. Fred says:

    How did Ken Copeland not make the cut?

  13. Anders says:

    Has the church lost the truth? I can only answer for the denomination I have belonged to for the past 35 years. The seminaries, the leadership, including the archbishop, bishops and majority of the priests, have long since denied the authority of the Scriptures. Why would anyone stay in a church like that, you may well ask. I’m often tempted to leave, but happily there are still groups of lay people and a few ministers who “receive the Word with all readiness of mind and search the Scriptures daily whether these things are true.” Wherever that is happening you cannot claim that the truth has been lost.

  14. Salim says:

    Dear Sir !!You should know the word of faith is not False teaching ,If you have the gift of faith & speak the word according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit it is not a false teaching, You can not blame the Anointed of God
    ….
    Be Carefull ,Sir …..

    Teaching the Anointed with Negative about them is Good ……..

    • Tony says:

      Dear Salim:

      Thank you for your message. Unfortunately, you have been misled. Anyone who claims to speak in the name of Christ must also teach what Jesus taught. That means that what we teach must match Scripture. Word of Faith theology does not match Scripture. It is a lie.

      How is it a lie? Simple: it makes man and God equal. How? Think about it carefully, my friend: if God created the universe by speaking faith-filled words, and if we can change reality by doing the same, where is the difference between Creator and creation? The Bible makes it clear that man is not God, and that God isn’t like man… but Word of Faith teachers contradict the Bible. For example, many teach that we have the same power that God has. Some teach that humans aren’t ‘made in God’s image,’ but are exact duplicates of God. That is a lie.

      You’ve also fallen for the oldest trick in the book, my friend. When someone warns you that another person is going to come and accuse them of something terrible, and that you must not believe it, and that you must defend them against accusation and accuser, you should not believe them. You should test all things, including what they tell you to believe. The Bereans heard Paul the apostle, and then they double-checked what he said by looking at the Scriptures. The ones who have been teaching you have done the opposite: they have not told you to test them, but to protect them by saying things like “touch not God’s anointed.” If Peter is not God’s anointed, then nobody is… and Paul corrected him when he was wrong. If Paul is not God’s anointed, then nobody is… and the Bereans tested whatever he told them.

      You and I should do no less, my friend. Listen to what the Word of Faith teachers say, and then be like the Bereans. They were commended, and you will be as well.

    • Andrew says:

      1 Cor 18-31
      Eph 2

    • Andrew says:

      Deut 18(18:20)

    • Andrew says:

      Salim how can you justify your statement with scripture to back your stance?

      In Gal 2:11-21 Paul rebuking/correcting Peter

      1 Tim 1 don’t teach strange doctrines(doctrines not found in scripture) and the kicking out of the church 2 false teachers

      Matt 7 judging those that are believers for correction and restoration of the beliver in sin.

      1 Cor 5 (judges a man for unhabitual sexual immorality and kicking man out of the church)

      For instances of Paul kicking unrepentant false teachers and unrepentant sinner, he would have handled proper church discipline that is laid out in (Matt 18(18:15-17)

      1 Cor 5(5:12-13) 1 Corinthians 5:12–13 (NASB95): 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
      13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”

      Juding is here in greek is to decide,to think,- basically to evaluate- so if one is claiming Christ we have a standard to judge(evaluate) if the are a believer, are they teaching starage doctrines (this that are not found in scripture- extra biblical revelation)

      Hebrews 1:1 states God doesnt speak through prophets and via signs anymore because we have the completed Word(the Bible).

      1 Tim 3:16-17 2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NASB95): “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
      17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

      Deuteronomy 18:10–12 (NASB95): 10There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
      11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
      12 “For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you.
      Do not touch God’s anointed was meaning about old testament prophets, which when we look in Hebrew 1:1 God doesnt speak through prophets anymore

      So how and you justify your statement when the Biblical Council(what Scripture says time and time again) that we do have the right to evaluate and say if someone is teaching false doctrine, what scripture are you using to justify your point?

      https://www.gotquestions.org/touch-not-Gods-anointed.html

  15. Tom Carpio says:

    Greetings brother Tony. I stumbled this video on FB while following Wretched.org. Paul and Jan Crouch interview of Walter Martin (RIP) uploaded by Reformed Christian Voice Radio. Maybe you’ve seen it but here it is anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb_T750l8ow

    God bless you sir!

    • Tony says:

      Tom:

      First, many thanks. I grew up listening to Walter Martin, and I appreciate hearing him once again.

      Second, I heartily recommend ANYTHING that Martin said or wrote… from short clips off the radio to his excellent Kingdom of the Cults.

  16. Melissa says:

    Could you please tell me about Rick Warren. I have a hunch he is a false teacher.

    • Tony says:

      Melissa:

      I wouldn’t consider Rick Warren a false teacher. He’s drawn a lot of criticism in recent years, which makes it appear like there’s a lot to be worried about. I haven’t followed his ministry closely, but most of the criticisms I’ve heard are pretty thin. His critics usually don’t quote him directly, for example. They quote someone saying something about something Warren said, and his words can easily be taken out of context. As you can see here, I think it’s important to avoid gossip. I couldn’t care less what someone says about what someone else says, really. I want to hear it straight from the person in question.

      Some – I would call them hard-liners, or perhaps pharisees – have a problem with him reaching out to Muslims, for example. That’s pretty silly. We’re supposed to reach out to the lost. Critics created a new word for what they thought Warren was promoting: Chrislam, a combination religion of Christianity and Islam. Weird, huh? When this first came up, I spent some time watching Warren’s responses. He made it abundantly clear that he does not consider Islam compatible with Christianity, or believe that Allah and Yahweh are the same person, or that one can be saved by following Muhammad. I considered the matter closed at that point, and haven’t heard anything new that concerns me.

      Some have criticized Warren for not preaching the gospel clearly enough. They say he doesn’t use the right words. Well, I’ve received exactly the same criticism, so I’ve spent considerable time thinking about it. If I say to someone that they’ve turned their back on God and chosen to do things their own way, and that they should reverse course and trust that God’s way is best, and live by what Jesus taught, I’m using plain words to explain religious concepts to them. People have suggested that I’m watering down the gospel by not using words like sin and repentance. Well, I do use them… but not all the time. That doesn’t mean I ignore sin, or think that people don’t need to repent. It means that I’m working hard to communicate with the lost in words they understand. Certain critics don’t like it, but I’m okay with that. My goal isn’t to please everyone. My goal is to please God by reaching out to the lost and helping them trust that God loves them, that they should turn their lives and hearts over to Him, and do what He says. Seems fine to me, so I have no real problem with Warren doing the same.

      If and when I see actual quotes from Warren that contradict Scripture, I will definitely address the question again. Until then, I would suggest that your hunch may be, at this point, misguided. Does that make sense?

    • Fred says:

      At first glance, everything that Rick Warren says sounds great. However, there are problems beneath the surface, beyond the introductory material. The main issue is that after you get into the program a bit, the focus is taken away from Christ crucified, the salvation message, sin and redemption and more towards Rick’s programs. Whether that is purpose driven, how to be a better leader, or some type of social justice gospel. He has a habit of using multiple versions of the Bible, sometimes paraphrased, to make his points, rather than seeing what the Bible has to say, and speak from that. I know of a Pastor that said he had to make a choice, either serve Rick or serve Jesus, you can’t do both.

      • Tony says:

        Fred:

        Please listen carefully. If you haven’t yet read What is a False Teacher, I suggest you do so now. Why? Because I won’t be publishing all of your comments as they were written. Why? Because you’re doing exactly the opposite of what you should do. I would be happy to publish anything you write that lines up with the principles I’ve written about in that article.

        You say there are problems. Maybe there are. Maybe you say his focus is off-target. Maybe it is. However: I will not be guilty of publishing rumors or gossip. If you have something to say about whether a person is a false teacher, then – by all means – say it, say it loud, and say it clear. You’re only missing one thing:

        PROOF

        You may not realize it, but what you’ve done so far is to engage in hearsay. Rather than showing what Warren says, you say that Warren does this, or does that. Perhaps you’re right, but you’re asking everyone to believe you and not believe Warren. That won’t do. We need evidence that he’s wrong and you’re right, and your own word simply isn’t enough. That’s why I won’t say that someone is a false teacher unless I have quotes, either from their books or from videos… and I don’t summarize them. I quote them exactly.

        In another comment, which I won’t publish, you ask people to look in books that other people have written about Warren. It’s the same thing: you’re asking us to believe that you’re right about what Smith and Hutchings have written, and that they’re right about what they claim Warren does. You shouldn’t feel free to comment in that way, and I certainly don’t feel free to publish your comments when you engage in rumors and gossip.

        Please: don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending Warren. If you have evidence, I’d love to see it. Because you haven’t produced any, I can’t agree… and I can’t echo your words by publishing them. You and I agree that the gospel is the main point. Where people claim to follow Jesus and preach the truth but do not, I want to save people from the lies that can destroy them. I’m on your side, but I – clearly – feel very strongly about the right way to do it. I hope my strong response won’t get in the way of you posting in the future. You’ve done me a service: I need to make sure to outline this process for future commenters, and I will. Thanks, and have a great day, my brother.

        • Fred says:

          Tony,
          I agree with your comment and I think Rick Warren should not be listed as a false teacher. However, I think it is fair to list some valid concerns about Rick Warren. One is the New Age / Progressive / Emergent gospel which has infiltrated many churches today which is noted in Rick Warren’s writings. Warren Smith has a few books on it including A Wonderful Deception and Deceived on Purpose. Noah Hutchings has The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church. Examples of the Emergent / New Age gospel is explored in these books. But that is not the primary concern. The primary concern is his insistence on using multiple Bible versions to use the Bible to craft his points, rather than looking at the Bible to structure his views. One version he uses is the Message Bible. The Bible represents absolute truth and the goal is to get to the original language as closely as possible. Many versions do this accurately such as the: KJV, NKJV, ESV, NIV, NASB, RSV, YLT, etc. But the Message Bible changes and distorts the word of God to give it a new meaning. There are numerous websites that show this on a verse by verse basis. One website is: https://www.chapter3min.org/the-message-verse-comparisons/ or https://www.doveministries.com/key-issues/dangers-of-the-message-bible/ Even the flagship verse of John 3:16 is changed.
          GotQuestions.org is an excellent resource and states: “The original version of The Message was printed without the traditional numbered verses, making it read more like a novel. Many people found this refreshing at first, but also found it inconvenient for cross-referencing, comparison with other versions, and group Bible studies. As far as the negatives are concerned, there are numerous websites and articles devoted to the translation errors in The Message, too numerous to reiterate here. Suffice it to say that The Message has engendered more criticism for its lack of serious scholarship and outright bizarre renderings than just about any other Bible version to date. One common complaint from many who read The Message or hear it read aloud is “I didn’t recognize it as the Bible.” Other critics declare The Message to be not a paraphrase of what the Bible says, but more of a rendering of what Eugene Peterson would like it to say. In an interview with Christianity Today, Peterson described the beginning of the creative process that produced The Message: “I just kind of let go and became playful. And that was when the Sermon on the Mount started. I remember I was down in my basement study, and I did the Beatitudes in about ten minutes. And all of a sudden I realized this could work.” Aside from the impossibility of doing justice to the Sermon on the Mount in ten minutes, one wonders whether playfulness is the appropriate demeanor for those who attempt to “rightly divide the word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Awe and reverence for a holy God and His holy Word, yes. Playfulness? No.”

          • Tony says:

            Fred:

            Good man. Thanks for rewriting this for publication. I’ve made a small edit, to make “Got questions” a link… they are indeed an excellent resource. It’s good to keep in mind that, to get their 600k+ articles, there are a LOT of authors. I wouldn’t say I agree with all of them, of course, but I do recommend them without hesitation. I also share your concerns about The Message, which I don’t really consider a Bible. It seems to be, as you’ve pointed out, Peterson’s message rather than a faithful translation of the Word of God.

            Have a great day, my friend!

  17. Anders says:

    The Purpose Driven Life had apparently sold over 30 million copies by 2007. The updated book cover now says over 34 million copies have sold, but Wikipedia claims the number is actually over 60 million. Regardless of the actual number, it’s a lot—so many that it’s been translated into over 85 languages.

    And, not only is it a top book on life purpose, but it’s consistently in the top 50 books of all-time. Publishers Weekly claims it is the “bestselling nonfiction hardback in history.”
    So it seems to me that Melissa’s question is an important one.

  18. Evangprince says:

    Stop destroying the chosen generation.Men and women called by God to do his will on earth.

    • Tony says:

      Evangprince:

      First, thanks for visiting. A few questions:

      1. In what way am I ‘destroying the chosen generation’?
      2. Who, exactly, are these people?
      3. What makes you think that you and I aren’t in the category of ‘called by God to do his will on earth’?

      In other words, let’s talk about this in detail.

  19. Fred says:

    I read some views and talking about president Trump. Yes they laid hands on him and prayed for him. Trump did a lot of good for the Christian community and tried defund plan parent hood. He had great policies. Key stone pipe line, cut regulation, lowered taxes, had built 450 miles of border fence and strengthen or tighten up immigration policies. Brought Syria/ IRack to a conclusion, took the US OUT of the US Paris accord. Abollis the deal with Iran. And put China on notice and much more and also making Jerusalem Isreals capital. You might not like him, but I like his policies.

  20. Jimmy says:

    What is the Passion Bible and why is it on your list

    • Tony says:

      Jimmy:

      Good question! The Passion was created by Brian Simmons. He’s part of the unbiblical New Apostolic Reformation, and TPT was written to promote their principles. It’s not a translation in the traditional sense of biblical translation. Typically, Bible translation teams have a goal in mind, and that goal drives their methodology. A stricter, word-for-word kind of translation like the NASB is concerned about accurately reflecting what the ancient manuscripts actually say. An idiomatic kind of translation, like the NIV, is concerned about accurately translating ideas for readability and comprehension.

      To compare, use the Spanish phrase “casa blanca.” English doesn’t work exactly like Spanish, so English speakers would say “white house,” rather than “house white.” The NASB would more likely translate that as “house white” and the NIV would more likely say “white house.” I don’t know if that overly-simplistic example makes sense, but that’s the difference between formal equivalence and dynamic equivalence. Both are entirely valid methods of translation, and they serve their purposes very well.

      The Passion is less of a translation and more of a commentary, where Simmons inserts his own words and ideas into the text. Here’s 2 Timothy 4:2 from the NIV and from the Passion:

      NIV: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

      TPT: Proclaim the Word of God and stand upon it no matter what! Rise to the occasion and preach when it is convenient and when it is not. Preach in the full expression of the Holy Spirit—with wisdom and patience as you instruct and teach the people.

      Notice the differences. We might explain the significant difference in the number of words if Simmons was helping us understand some very complex concepts. Instead, his stated goal is to produce passion in the reader… so he feels he must “translate” God’s Word in a way that causes people to feel more deeply. Notice also the inclusion of the Holy Spirit. Nothing wrong with the Holy Spirit, but Paul said nothing about Him in that verse. It’s simply not a translation. It’s a personal commentary.

      Finally, and I’ll give quoted examples when I write the full article about this ‘bible,’ Simmons makes some hard-to-swallow claims about the whole process. He claims to have been brought to Heaven to see Jesus, who showed him an extra chapter for the Bible that nobody knows about, and that Jesus told him that one day it would be given to him. He claims, contrary to the evidence, that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic, and so he used Aramaic manuscripts for his work. Trouble is that the oldest Aramaic manuscripts we have are from the 5th century, far newer than most of the almost 6000 Greek manuscripts we’ve found. He also claims to have been given secret knowledge by God, which is a gigantic red flag.

      Does that answer your question for the moment? It’s on my list because people should know that it’s not a real Bible. Thanks for asking! Let me know if there’s more I can do for you.

  21. Anders says:

    I’ve been studying 1 Peter with some friends and the question of supersessionism (replacement theology) has come up. Is supersessionism false teaching, in your view? And who holds to this doctrine today? Or maybe I should ask, who doesn’t. Thanks.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      First, I’m happy to hear that you’re studying 1 Peter. I’m also happy to hear that you’re asking questions, rather than not asking questions.

      Supersessionism is a bit too broad for a simple yes or no answer. There are parts, and each part needs to be examined independently. I’ve written a quick article on it, which you can find here: Is Supersessionism Biblical?. Thanks for asking! If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below the article.

      Have a great day!

  22. Bob Worthen says:

    Why is it over 90% of the so-called Christian Churches ignore the 4th of the 10 Commandments. God worked six days, Genesis 2:3, “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy…” Not only that but the 4th Commandment is the only Commandment that starts with the word REMEMBER. God knew this Commandment would not be “remembered” and seems to me to be an important sign between good and bad teachers.

    • Tony says:

      That’s a good question, Bob. Maybe so many “so-called Christian churches” – your words, not mine – ignore the command to observe sabbaths because those commands were given to the ancient Israelites as part of God’s covenant with them… and because Jesus instituted a new covenant, superseding the old one. Gentiles are grafted into the new covenant, so the commands from a covenant we were never part of would not apply to us.

      Haven’t you read the Scriptures? The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever….

      Are you an Israelite? Are you under the old covenant?

  23. Bob Worthen says:

    Tony:
    I saw on another computer where you had left a reply to my original comments and question but here on my computer there is no reply from you. First of all, God made the Seventh Day Sabbath Holy at creation or as many have said, re-creation. It was then given as one of the Ten Commandments to the Israelites. Jesus Christ kept the Seventh Day Sabbath and his Disciples kept it after he died. Even the Holy Days or High Sabbaths will be kept in the future after Christ returns according to New Testament scripture. What man can make un-Holy what God made Holy? My contention is that NONE can. Except for Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice, we are all sinners and the only way for redemption is through him. We must do our best to follow his teachings and his example fully knowing that we can not do so without his Holy Spirit. In my own life I have 2 goals:
    1. To try to do what Jesus Christ would do if he were me by studying his life.
    2. To strive for perfection knowing that in this human life, I will never attain perfection.
    The most important Christian Trait: I Corinthians 13
    The most important thing to do: Matthew 6:14

    • Tony says:

      Bob:

      I do appreciate your comments. Your desire to do what God wants you to do is spot-on, and I wish more people shared that desire.

      However: you need to read the New Testament. You need to study the New Testament. You need to be able to tell the difference between what you were taught by humans and what humans were taught by God. By this I mean no offense, of course… but your comments reveal that your training has been insufficient. You’re close, but you need to keep going.

      What does it mean to be holy? I have no doubt you’ve heard the answer. It means ‘to be set apart for special use.’ When you make a bowl, it’s just a bowl. The bowls in the temple weren’t a different kind of thing than the bowls people used at home. The difference isn’t in the bowl itself, but in how it’s used. The bowl used in the temple was set apart from other bowls, and would not be used for any other purpose. That’s what holy means. When God made the seventh day holy, He set it apart from the other days for a special purpose. It’s not that the seventh day is different than the other six days. They’re all just days. It’s the purpose that matters.

      What was the purpose of setting aside the seventh day? What did God use it for? That’s the part that sabbatarians (among others) miss. They assume there’s something special about the day itself, rather than the purpose. You and I were made holy as well, Bob. There’s nothing particularly special about you and I that makes us different from any other human. We were set apart for special use, that’s all. That doesn’t make us better than other people, does it? Of course not. In the same way, the point of the sabbath is what God used it for.

      What did God use the sabbath for?

      According to Colossians 2:16-17, the sabbath was a shadow of things to come. The sabbath day isn’t special on its own, Bob… the purpose of the sabbath – the reason God set it apart from other days – is special. The sabbath pointed to Jesus: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

      Don’t you see? The sabbath WAS important. It pointed to Jesus. Now that Jesus has come, there’s no need for sabbaths. Other humans will tell you otherwise, but God Himself has said this. The purpose for the seventh-day sabbath – the reason God set it apart from other days – was to point to the coming Messiah. Now that Messiah has come, we can point directly at Him. We can look back and see all of the other things that pointed to Him… like the temple, the sacrifices, the priesthood, the prophets, Hosea’s marriage to Gomer, Jonah’s anger, the bronze serpent, and a hundred other things. These are important, but they’re not special on their own. They’re special because they served a special purpose.

      You and I aren’t special on our own. We were bought with a price and set apart so God could use us in a particular kind of way. Right now, I’m doing what God set me apart to do. I’m trying to help you see past the ‘you have heard it said’ of other humans to the ‘but I say’ of God. Don’t take my word for it, Bob. Read the Scriptures. Study the Scriptures. The only command God gave to observe sabbaths was in the old covenant, which is no longer in force. The disciples did not keep the sabbath after Jesus died and was resurrected… or Paul would not have written Colossians 2 as he did, and the other leaders – Peter, James, John, Luke, and others – would have corrected him.

      The sabbath has served its purpose. It did what God intended for it to do. If you want to follow Jesus, then follow HIM… don’t follow the things you were taught that contradict God’s Word. Do your homework, Bob. This simple misunderstanding is, no doubt, keeping you from doing some of the good works God set aside for you to do. I wish you well, and I’m here for further discussion. If you belong to God, you belong to me… so keep in touch.

      By the way: my server tells me your comment was posted somewhere near Meridian. Maybe we used to be neighbors! I lived in Nampa and Fruitland for 16 years. =)

  24. Bob Worthen says:

    Tony:
    Thank you for your reply. Yes, I have studied the Bible a lot from my youth. My late father used to say, “Robert, you read the Bible for yourself so you know what it says. That way, you have a base for discerning fact from fiction.” I agree with a lot of what you have said Tony, but I look at the Sabbath as being set apart by God for mankind from the very beginning and according to prophesy will be kept in the future. And although we may not have to “keep” the Seventh Day Sabbath to be in God’s Kingdom, I do my best to personally draw as close to God as I can. If you have a child and you tell the child to sit in a particular chair and that child refuses to do so, will you be happy with the child for refusing to obey you? I think not. Will you disown the child? Probably not. But, that is the way I look at the Seventh Day Sabbath and a number of other issues. It may not be a requirement to be a Christian but I believe it helps me to be a better Christian. Some people feel that being a Vegetarian helps them to be a better Christian… Personally, I think that us trying to keep the Seventh Day Sabbath may be more important to God than most realize. When Christ returns, we will all find out. Notice how all ten of the Virgins thought they were Christians and would be in God’s Kingdom but half did not “make the cut.” In the end we are not each other’s judges, God is.
    When you know the truth the truth sets you free from all of the lies and deceit. May God bless you in your continuing to seek the truth.

    • Tony says:

      I do appreciate a worthwhile, mature conversation. Thanks, Bob.

      With respect (and I mean that), what you’re saying doesn’t match what we both see in Scripture. Your analogy of a child and a chair seems apt at first, but it’s not… because God did not tell you to sit in that chair. You use the word “obey,” and obedience is great. The problem is that you’re butting into God’s agreement with someone else, then pretending that God’s instructions to them also apply to you, then pretending that you’re actually obeying those instructions. Clearly, this is simply a silly way to go about pleasing God.

      I don’t say that to be mean. You’re just not separating what you’ve been taught from what God has actually said. Let me encourage you to read Exodus 20 and Exodus 31 without your sabbatarian glasses. Read it as you would read any other text, and ask yourself about the context:

      1. Who is speaking?
      2. To whom are they speaking?
      3. What is the occasion? That is, why are they saying it?

      God is speaking to the Israelites, establishing His covenant with them. It would be silly for the Pharaoh to slip a spy into the camp, have them report what God said, and then claim to be obeying God by pretending to enter into His covenant with the Israelites. That’s exactly what you’re doing, Bob. You’re butting into a relationship between two other parties. I understand that you may have been taught that this is how things should be done, but it’s illogical, unscriptural, and unrealistic. Here’s why:

      • You’re not included in that covenant.
      • That covenant has been replaced by a new and better covenant.
      • You’re kidding yourself if you think you’re actually obeying God.

      Why would I say that you’re not obeying God? Simple: if you want to do what God says, you should do it God’s way. You’re not. The Law prohibits wringing water out of a cloth on the sabbath. Separating nuts from their shells is forbidden. You can’t pick the M&M’s out of trail mix on the sabbath, as that is sorting… a kind of work. You can’t brew tea on the sabbath. You can’t tie or untie your shoes. You can’t tear a piece of paper in two. You can’t kill a mosquito, you can’t measure and cut anything, you can’t light a candle, nor can you put it out. You can’t staple two things together. You can’t add hot water to a cup o’ noodles. You can’t even write anything down.

      That’s just for starters. God’s instructions also say that sabbath-breakers are to be killed. It’s time to get serious, Bob. If you claim to observe the seventh-day sabbath, you’re kidding yourself. If you claim to observe the sabbath but can’t admit you’re not following God’s instructions on HOW to observe the sabbath, you’ve been indoctrinated. You can’t logically claim that God wants you to do something that He never told you to do. You can’t claim to be obedient when you ignore the instructions… and it’s irresponsible to tell other people that they should do the same. Don’t be irresponsible, Bob.

      I’m not trying to get you to back away from God. The opposite is true. If you want to be close to God, do what God actually told you to do. Jesus said that if you love Him, you will obey Him. Your instructions are in the gospels, not in Exodus or Leviticus. If you pretend to obey the sabbath, who are you obeying?

  25. Anders says:

    Very interesting debate. From both sides. Many years ago I had a South African friend who belonged to the 7th Day Adventists. Terrific fellow and we got on very well. But he could never understand how I could not see what he felt was so clearly taught in the Scriptures about the Sabbath. As far as he was concerned, it was there in black and white. Plain as day. And I was somehow blind to it. I suspect Bob feels the same way as my friend. But you are making good, helpful points, Tony. I would only offer one small, a little off topic, suggestion. You close by saying a Christian’s “instructions are in the gospels.” I believe it would be more correct to say the church’s instructions are in the epistles. Specifically, Paul’s.

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      It IS interesting, isn’t it? Bob lives in a place with many Adventists. I used to live there, and had many friends and co-workers who were Adventists. Honestly, most of them were better company than the folks in my own churches. I’ve written a bit about My Experiences with Seventh-Day Adventists.

      It IS interesting to me how so many claim that things are ‘just so simple’ but can’t show that things are that simple in the Scriptures. They know a few of the key verses, of course… but they usually seem unaware of the verses that provide more information that might alter their view. I grew up in a church that seemed pretty sure of what they believed. To be sure, they definitely preached the gospel… but on a number of side issues, they seemed content to ‘just believe’ rather than to stick with God’s Word. When I started doing my own homework, I gained a new appreciation for how difficult it can be to change someone’s mind on religious topics. We all have a tendency to defend what we believe. I’ve been dealing with that dynamic for a long, long time. Truthfully, most people just can’t handle the stress that comes from making sure their own beliefs are sound. I feel a great relief and satisfaction when someone actually does their homework and changes their mind.

      As for your suggestion, I see what you mean… but the epistles are explanations, and extensions, of what Jesus taught. The principles are in the gospels, and their application is explained in the epistles. That’s a simplification, of course… but not by much. The whole New Testament is good for that, as it’s Christianity and not Judaism. I guess I’m agreeing, but don’t want people to think that you’re downplaying Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I know you’re not, but they might misunderstand. Thanks!

  26. Bob Worthen says:

    Tony:
    Again, you make some excellent points. I still am drawn back to my original question. I’m going to ask and phrase it in a different way though. So, from my experience, at least 90% of the “Christian Churches” teach their people to obey 9 of the 10 Commandments. The first 4 Commandments given to the Israelites were how to honor and love God. The last 6 were on how to honor and love your fellow humans. Every Christian Church or group that I have studied teach following 9 of the 10 Commandments. Why not just ignore all of them?
    It’s like tithing. EVERY “Christian Church” that I have attended or studied teach tithing, yet that is part of the Old Covenant. It seems to me that just because something was part of the Old Covenant does not mean it is not part of the New Covenant. The overarching instructions given to us by Jesus Christ himself is to love God with all of our hearts and souls and to love our fellow humans as ourselves. That is my personal goal to be counted worthy to be in God’s Kingdom. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
    I John 3:21-22 “…we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we OBEY his commands and do what PLEASES him.” NIV
    I plan to continue to try my best to please God. I have found no perfect church. I do attend a church which is from my studies, the closest to my beliefs from my 50 plus years of Biblical studying and practicing God’s ways. I have endured many trials and yet I can not count all of my blessings. I despise Pagan Holidays like Christmas and Easter which are based in lies and deceit. Most churches teach Jesus Christ was murdered and died on a Friday and was raised on Sunday morning. Yet the prophesies say he would be in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. Do you know the answer to this “riddle?”
    Seems to me there is a LOT of false teaching going on in the vast majority of the churches. Looking forward you your response my friend:)

    • Tony says:

      Bob:

      With respect, your experience doesn’t reflect the reality of what’s going on in local churches. Yes, many do teach to obey the 10 Commandments. Some teach to obey 9 of them. Some don’t teach any of them at all. Perhaps you’re unaware of the almost-but-not-quite entirely unbiblical preaching and teaching in mainline Protestant churches. I don’t mean that they’re teaching things that are unbiblical. I mean that they’re not teaching the Bible at all. The number of churches that do, or don’t, teach particular things is largely irrelevant. The question is what the Bible says, not what people say.

      Of course, the above paragraph comes with a warning! I grew up in the Wesleyan tradition, and was taught a four-fold test for beliefs. One of those tests is whether my belief is historical… that is, whether I’m the only one to believe it, or whether Christians throughout Christian history have affirmed the same belief. It’s important to have some grasp on what other faithful men and women have believed. It’s also important to distinguish between historical trends and timeless principles. It can be difficult to separate what we currently believe from the culture around us.

      That said, your argument is illogical and ahistorical. For example: you say that every ‘Christian Church’ that you’ve attended teaches tithing. Clearly, your experience doesn’t reflect the reality, as over 70% of American pastors say that tithing is not a normative practice for Christians, but is only part of the old covenant. If you want to check your beliefs against popular opinion – something I wouldn’t necessarily recommend – then your experience is woefully inadequate.

      The only relevant question is what the Bible says. From Genesis to Revelation, it’s one narrative. You can’t leave any part of it out, and you must take it as it is, rather than as you hope it to be. Most people don’t actually study the Bible. They go to Bible studies and look at a handful of texts through the lens of their teacher or curriculum, but few actually study the Bible as a whole. As a result, their view of God and how He works and what He wants and what we should be doing is incomplete, foggy, and largely ineffective at turning converts into disciple-makers. Let me lay out the whole old covenant/new covenant process for you:

      1. God made a covenant with Israel. Nobody else was included.
      2. God promised a future new covenant with Israel and Judah.
      3. God delivered that new covenant to Israel and Judah. It began in the upper room at the last supper.
      4. As with the Mosaic covenant, the new covenant was for the children of Israel.
      5. Gentiles were then ‘grafted’ into the new covenant.

      It’s not that the old covenant kind of still applies, sort of, mostly. It’s that it has been replaced entirely. The old covenant was between God and the nation of Israel. The new covenant is between God and the nation of Israel as well… and then, as a result of Israel’s unbelief, we Gentiles were grafted into the new covenant. That’s how it works. People who think that the old and new covenants are somehow intermingled are engaging in syncretism… combining Judaism with Christianity. With all due respect to you and to me and to most of the people I’ve ever known in churches around the country, that’s a gigantic problem. The common ground between the ancient Israelites and Christianity is not any part of the old covenant, but faith in God’s promise to Abraham. We who live by faith are heirs to that promise. We are not, and have never been, children of Moses.

      I don’t know you well, Bob. I hope to, one day… whether on this earth or the new one. In the meantime, I have a recommendation. Test all things. Hold fast to what is true. Don’t follow the traditions of men. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Stop trying to mix the old with the new. The new covenant is not like the old. Some things overlap, of course… two separate and different covenants made with the same God will necessarily have similarities. It’s good to study the old covenant, but it’s better to study the new… because it’s an agreement between you and God that’s in force at this very moment.

      As for the ‘riddle,’ yes. I have the answer. It’s been well-known for around 2000 years. Jesus almost certainly died on a Friday and was raised on the following Sunday. You might not like the idea, and it might not make sense to you, but the most likely explanation is that you’re simply unaware of the answer. It’s very plain, and even a little boring. There’s no conspiracy involved… no satanic deception that explains the ‘discrepancy.’ There’s no discrepancy. If you’d like, I can explain it to you. I have virtually endless stamina for these kinds of discussions, my friend. As long as you’re willing to engage with me and to look boldly at the text, and to consider whether what you’ve been taught matches what the Bible actually says, we can do this forever.

      • Bob Worthen says:

        Tony: Sorry, but your answer is wrong. The 7 Holy Days God gave Israel were also known as Annual or High Sabbaths. In the year Christ died, the Annual Sabbath of the First Day of Unleavened Bread fell on a Thursday. Therefore, Jesus Christ died on the Wednesday before the Annual Sabbath, not the Weekly Sabbath. So, as the prophesies foretold Christ was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. When the women came on Sunday Morning to prepare his body for final burial, an Angel met them at the entrance to the tomb. Christ had already been raised the afternoon before. The World including many of our “Christian” Churches are full of lies and deception. There are several churches that do teach the truth on this subject but the vast majority are deceived and don’t seem to care. When you know the truth, the truth will set you free from all of the lies and deceptions, even in the “Christian” Churches. The hardest thing for most people, especially it seems for preachers is to admit when they are wrong. Hopefully, you aren’t too proud to admit you can be wrong.

        • Tony says:

          Bob:

          It’s really easy to believe something and claim that everybody else has it wrong, is deceived, and is living in bondage to a lie. It’s another thing to back it up. Do you know who makes that kind of claim? In my experience, it’s always the ones who are out of step with both Scripture and history. The biblical understanding of “day” to the ancient Hebrew mind is not the same as ours. It can mean the day, or any part of the daylight hours, or a night and a day, or an extended (but not endless) period of time, and more. Throughout history, Christians have understood that Jesus was killed on Friday and rose again on Sunday. Here’s how the time was reckoned:

          Thursday night and Friday day: one day
          Friday night and Saturday day: two days
          Saturday night and Sunday day: three days

          We don’t need to revise our calendars to make sure that 72 hours can elapse between Jesus’ death and resurrection. Why don’t we? Because that’s us, trying to ‘fix’ what isn’t broken. The reason Christians have been basically unanimous on this issue is that they know how to count like the ancient Israelites. The reason some claim to know that Jesus died on another day is that they can’t count the right way. Do a bit of homework and look up the uses of “day” in Scripture to make sure you know what it says, and how it was used. Knowing the actual Hebrew definitions of the word is essential.

          The hardest thing isn’t to admit you’re wrong. The hardest thing is doing your homework. If you’re wrong, the homework will change your mind. If you’re right, the homework will reassure you about being right. So, I’m challenging you: do your homework. You won’t be sorry.

  27. Kathryn Dobozy says:

    Hey Tony, what is your take on Steven furtick?

  28. Jeane says:

    Actually, what are the keys to the Kingdom? AND, can you explain binding and loosing. Some people use binding and loosing to bind spirits, etc. Please explain

    • Tony says:

      Jeane:

      Thanks for asking!

      First, the keys. Surely, they’re not physical keys. Right? Keys lock and unlock things… so the keys to the Kingdom, using Jesus’ analogy, would be used to lock or unlock the Kingdom. Keep this in mind, because we’ll come back to it after looking at binding and loosing.

      There’s a lot of confusion about this binding and loosing, and a lot of opinions. One reason for the many opinions is that Jesus didn’t explain exactly what He meant, in terms we can easily understand today. Let’s look at Matthew 16:19 to see what happened. Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Here’s how Jesus responded:

      Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

      Now, there were plenty of times where Jesus said something that confused the disciples. He would explain again, to make sure they understood. Here’s a simple question: why didn’t Jesus explain what He meant? It seems that no explanation was needed, and that they knew what He meant. If that’s true, we should learn what binding and loosing meant to them, so it can mean the same to us. If we can understand what Jesus meant, we can lean on our knowledge, rather than wondering about conflicting opinions.

      Binding and loosing was a phrase that ancient Jews, and modern practicing Jews, would be familiar with. It has to do with producing an authoritative interpretation. Think about a judge, in court. He needs to know the law, right? However: applying the law is more difficult than just reading the law. Judges need to interpret the law for each case. Most of the time things are pretty straight-forward, and the law can be easily applied. Some situations, in contrast, require some wise judgement. This is the context of binding and loosing! Most of the time, Jewish law could be easily applied. Sometimes, there would be a dispute about how to apply the law in specific situations. When wise judgement was required, they turned to a POSEK. The word means “decisor.” This was a legal scholar who would know the law and settle disputes by applying the law to each situation. He was seen as an authority, and his decisions were generally understood to be the equivalent of the law itself. A wise POSEK would ‘bind’ what the law already bound, and ‘loose’ what the law already loosed. Their judgement should never be contrary to the law, but a further explanation of how the law was to be applied.

      Now, back to Simon Peter. Jesus said He would give him the keys to the Kingdom, and that he would bind and loose. A lot of people read this in English, thinking with their 21-century mind, and assume that Jesus was giving Peter the authority to make spiritual decisions on his own. That doesn’t fit the context. First, a POSEK applied the existing law. He didn’t make things up… he judged by what God had already established. Second, if we look at the Greek words that Jesus used, we see something interesting.

      Some Bibles, like the NIV above, have Jesus saying that whatever Peter bound on earth will be bound in Heaven. That’s not quite it. When we look at the Greek, the translation is more precisely shall have been bound. It’s the verb ESTAI. This verb is in the ‘middle voice.’ That means that the subject is both an agent of an action, and is involved in the action. Peter would be involved, but the activity of binding and loosing would not be Peter’s. That activity would come from Heaven… that is, from what had already been decided. Remember that a POSEK only applied existing law to specific situations in order to settle a dispute about the law. When binding and loosing, Peter – being wise – would not invent new ideas, but only reflect the decisions God had already made.

      It’s helpful to see an example. Where can we read about a dispute where Peter spoke authoritatively about how to apply the principles He had learned from Jesus? The first that comes to mind is in Acts 15 and, not surprisingly, it’s exactly what Jesus described:

      Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.

      Here we have our dispute. Paul and Barnabas (and others) came to Jerusalem to have this dispute settled by someone who 1) knew what Jesus taught, and 2) would be able to apply those teachings to their specific situation.

      The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

      Wow! Here we see binding and loosing in action. Peter is the POSEK, wisely applying what Jesus had already said. The keys to the Kingdom are the knowledge of Jesus’ words and intentions. With those keys, Peter was able to judge wisely and settle disputes so that the Kingdom was open to all. This binding and loosing wasn’t unique to Peter, either. At Pentecost, Peter ‘opened the door’ to the Jews by preaching the gospel to them. Philip opened the door in Acts 8 for the Ethiopian eunuch. Peter opened the door in Acts 10 for Cornelius and his household. In Acts 15 (the passage above), Peter was the primary speaker… but the council in Jerusalem included others – apostles and elders like James, who also spoke in judgement.

      These men didn’t make decisions that Heaven would follow. The decisions had already been made in Heaven. Because of their knowledge of the gospel, they were able to apply the keys to the Kingdom to settle disputes. Their authority didn’t come from having a special personality, or from being specially gifted in ways that you and I aren’t. Their authority came from knowing God’s Word, and understanding how Jesus’ teaching should be lived. I don’t want to overstep, but I would suggest that anyone who understands the gospel might be in the same position of settling disputes by helping others apply the truths of the gospel in their own situations.

      Does that make sense?

  29. Anders says:

    What about Myles Munroe? Died some years ago, but his sermons are on Youtube and he published several books. A quick surf linked him with the prosperity preachers. A friend of mine, who seems quite biblically sound, recommends him.

    • Tony says:

      An article on the false teaching of Myles Munroe is in the works, Anders. He was definitely Word of Faith and taught a number of significantly unbiblical ideas.

      • Anders says:

        hi Tony
        What I’m wondering specifically is, does Munroe teach that Christ literally dwells in the believer’s heart? (Eph.3.17) That is to say, the physical organ that pumps blood throughout the body? My friends have this idea that the heart is bacteria free, whereas the brain is not. Consequently, they are opposed to the study of theology, since it is a exercise of the brain, not of the heart. I try to explain to them that the word “heart” in this connection is not an organ but rather the “inner man” — the will, emotions and intellect of a man. One of them mentioned in passing that he enjoys listening to Munroe on Youtube so I am guessing the idea comes from him. But if not Munroe, maybe you know where this idea that Christ literally indwells a believer’s flesh and blood heart comes from. One may say that this is too weird to take seriously, but I like these friends. They are very dedicated and sincere followers of Christ and I want to be able to help them..

        • Tony says:

          Anders:

          Without listening to all of his sermons, I can’t know whether Munroe claimed that Jesus literally dwells in the believer’s heart. I see nothing related to that online. Of course, the idea itself is nonsense. Jesus went to Heaven, and the Holy Spirit came to us… it is HE who dwells in believer’s hearts, not Jesus. Of course, we don’t know exactly how that works. We can only claim what the New Testament says about it.

          The idea that our hearts have no bacteria is stupid. Our bodies are full of bacteria all the time, both helpful and not. You’re right that the biblical understanding of ‘heart’ is not the physical organ, but the whole of a person… what makes them “them.” As for the brain, I doubt Munroe said that. I found a book that he plugged that talks about the power of the brain, and it sounds like he was all about telling people (in a corporate setting, not necessarily in church) to use their brains well.

          It IS too weird to take seriously. I’ll give you a small, helpful bit of advice: ask questions. You want to help your friends, and it’s not likely they’ll change their minds in a simple discussion. They need to see the evidence for themselves. The evidence they already have has convinced them… that is, they trust whoever sold them that silly idea, and they feel they know something you’re ignorant about. A good way to help people change their minds is to ask them to provide you with the same evidence they’ve seen, so you can be convinced as well.

          I do this all the time on GodWords. When someone presents a stupid idea, I just ask: where did you learn this? If it’s true, I want to know it too. I know you would never ask me to just take your word for it, but I’m willing to examine the evidence. Please show me.

          Most people won’t do it. The few who will find one of two outcomes:

          1. They’re unwilling to give up the beliefs they like, in spite of the evidence, or
          2. They abandon their dumb idea in favor of a better one.

          Nobody can predict which they’ll do. I’m praying that they will see that their faith, in this case, is misplaced. If you would, please let us know how it goes!

  30. Fred says:

    Hi Tony!
    Took your advice and created new content for my website:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulZNWooi8Zs
    What do you think?

  31. Julie says:

    what can you tell me about Kristi McClelland who wrote the women’s study “Jesus and Women”? I never heard of her until a friend said the women’s group would be using her book as their next text.

    • Tony says:

      Julie:

      I don’t know about Kristi McLelland. I see nothing online that would worry me. She went to Dallas Theological Seminary. That doesn’t mean she’s not a false teacher, but DTS is a good school. You’re wise to ask whether the people you’re hearing are biblically-sound teachers, of course. If you hear anything that seems off-base, we can talk about it.

      Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

  32. Kathy Guthrie says:

    It’s scary to think the ones you have trusted to teach God’s word may not be what they seem. You have Joyce Meyers on the list and I am curious to know where she has failed ? Thank you

    • Tony says:

      Kathy:

      Thanks for asking. Joyce Meyer is well-known for being a Word of Faith teacher. This is a very popular collection of unbiblical ideas. When I have a bit more time (in the very near future), I’ll write an article outlining some of the false things she has taught. As always, I have nothing against Joyce Meyer… only against false teaching. I’ll mention two small things here, to get you started:

      1. SIN: In explaining how to be saved, Meyer’s website says that we make mistakes, and that the Bible calls those mistakes “sin.” This is false. Sin is willful rebellion, not a mistake. Further, she says that even one sin prevents us from having a relationship with God. This is also false. If it were true, every sin would destroy our relationship with God and we’d have to start over. Word of Faith teachers are often unclear or unbiblical on the topic of sin, and this is of some concern.
      2. FAITH: Meyer affirms the most basic Word of Faith doctrine, that spoken words change reality. She says that God exercises faith, which is nonsense. She teaches that the physical healing of believers is guaranteed, and that financial prosperity is guaranteed as well. Word of Faith teachers virtually always affirm these doctrines as well, and none are biblical.

      I would NOT ask you to take my word for it, of course. You should double-check what I write as carefully as you should double-check what everyone else teaches. I would recommend that you begin by simply searching the web for what the Word of Faith movement is, what most of them teach, and then look up the Scriptures in context. When I write an article, it will have exact quotes from Meyer to show that her false teaching is not an opinion, but a fact that we can know by searching the Scriptures.

      Until then, let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

    • Bob Worthen says:

      Kathy:
      It is amazing to me how many people justify not doing what the Bible says to do. I Corinthians 14:34 clearly says that women should not speak in church. How can it get any simpler? God says to do something or not to do something and human beings generally do the opposite, time and again. The wanton rebelliousness of the vast majority of people to God is all around us. God says there are differences between man and women. When you read the Bible for yourself and understand it, you have a base to start being able to separate fact from fiction.

      • Tony says:

        Bob:

        With respect, it seems your comment to Kathy goes a bit too far. I’m going to use some of your words against you here, if you don’t mind:

        When you read the Bible for yourself and understand it, you will be able to disagree with people, and even correct their theological errors, with grace and humility and winsomeness.

        I understand your frustration over the seeming blindness – and obvious ignorance – of so many. That’s what I deal with every day on this website. However: we should be careful to exhibit godly character anyway. If you only want to win an argument, this isn’t the place to do it. If you want to win Kathy over to your way of thinking, that’s honorable… but you’re certainly going about it the wrong way.

        – – – – – – –

        Besides all that, sincere born-again believers have disagreed about women in ministry since just about forever. The fact that YOU agree with those who interpret specific verses that way is no indication that everyone else is in error and living in willful rebellion. I could be wrong, but don’t believe you’re prepared to back up your beliefs in this area. For example: you cite 1 Corinthians 14:34. You think it’s simple because you focus on the first part: Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission. That’s 100% Scripture. I’ll bet you have no idea about the next part: as the law says.

        What law is that, Bob?

        Maybe it’s not as simple as you think it is. Before you run around the interwebs condemning people for believing something that millions of born-again believers have struggled with for 2000 years, maybe you should do your homework first. That way, you’ll better understand the reasons that some believe as they do, even if you continue to disagree.

        • Bob Worthen says:

          Tony:
          First of all, I condemn NO ONE! We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
          Secondly, Because I know my sins and I don’t know any or many of yours or anyone else’s, I think of others as better than myself as the scripture says to do. But, as a Christian that does not “let me off the hook” in trying to help people see and understand things that they do not. You do the same exact thing by pointing out to people other preachers that you believe are mis-leading people and why.
          Thirdly, there are two overarching laws we are to obey as Christians to the best of our ability. Love God and Love each other. That is the theme throughout the Bible. The first 4 of the 10 commandments given to ancient Israel were about how they were to love God and the last 6 of the 10 commandments were about how to love your neighbor.
          Seriously, I don’t see you as a rival or competitor. I see you as someone who is trying to do what is right in being a Christian. Maybe, just maybe we can help each other be better Christians:) In my humble opinion, that is what God wants us to do.
          May God have mercy on and bless us all!

          • Tony says:

            Bob:

            First, you seem a bit defensive.
            Second, you seem a bit accusatory.
            Third, I’m glad you’re willing to continue the conversation.

            Nobody said you had condemned anyone. I said that your comment seemed to go a bit too far. That’s a matter of opinion. It’s still my opinion, but I get the fact that mere typed words don’t communicate very clearly.

            What do you think of the idea that sincere, well-educated believers may differ on how we should understand 1 Corinthians 14:34?

        • Anders says:

          hi Tony,
          I’m following your discussion with Bob about women in the church because it is an issue in our church just now. Your remarks that women’s role in the church is “something that millions of born-again believers have struggled with for 2000 years,” and that “sincere born-again believers have disagreed about women in ministry since just about forever,” has given me pause. The issue isn’t really that old, is it? I suppose there may have been times when it has come up before the 1950’s and 60’s, but it was not till then that it really got going. So for 1900 years it was accepted by virtually all Christians that churches were led by men. I guess you can tell that I have the same conservative view as Bob on this matter. Women often make excellent leaders in the world, and in many situations, including leading youth groups and women’s groups, in the church. But when it comes to having authority over Christian men, Scripture is pretty plain. I’m thinking, of course, of 1 Tim. 2.11,12, and 1 Cor. 14.34f. Exceptional circumstances there may be, but the “commandment” (1 Cor.14.37) is clear.

          • Tony says:

            Anders:

            You ask good questions!

            Yes, the issue is that old. The only reason Paul wrote those words is because it was an issue, right? If everybody understood what God wanted, and agreed to do things His way, there would be no reference to the problems in the New Testament. Let’s look (very) briefly at the passages in question. My goal is not to convince you to think as I do, but to search the Scriptures carefully before drawing conclusions. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is first:

            Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

            This seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. It would probably be a good idea to learn what “law” Paul was talking about. Do you know this law? And are you really suggesting that the ladies in your church should remain silent from the time they enter until the time they leave? Paul did write that women should remain silent in the churches… if that’s a universal instruction, it would apply to all women in all churches today. Right?

            1 Timothy 2:11-12 is next:

            A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

            Paul did not permit a woman to teach. He wrote this to Timothy, presumably so Timothy could follow his example. I think we should take this verse seriously, as with all Scripture… but we need to establish the context to properly understand it. The question is whether Paul’s words are proscriptive or prescriptive. A proscriptive instruction is universal, while a prescriptive is personal – like a prescription for medicine. There seems to be little question about the cultures of Corinth and Ephesus, and the role of women in pagan worship. I’m of the opinion that many of the sex-specific instructions in the New Testament are prescriptive, to deal with specific problems in specific places.

            Both views deserve careful consideration. When we seek to understand any verse of Scripture, context is the key… and we shouldn’t limit our exploration of the context to just a verse or two. We have to take into account 1) who was writing, 2) to whom they were writing, 3) the occasion for writing, and 4) the history behind the occasion. To wrap up (before this goes too long), we do see places in Scripture where women had religious authority over men. Deborah is an obvious example, as are Huldah and Anna and others. If God didn’t want women to lead men, these women would not be commended in Scripture, but condemned.

            Your thoughts?

  33. Jules says:

    Thank you so very much for this list! I check it often and I use it as a resource to help me as I am still too new of a Christian to always be able to discern for myself about false teachers! My question is how often do you update this list (I noticed Furnick isn’t on it but you do have an article about him being a false teacher) and also if there’s a way to engage with you directly with questions. For example what advice would you give to someone about these false teachers – never listen to anything they say? Or listen with discernment? Things like that I would love to ask you!

    • Tony says:

      Jules:

      First, I really appreciate your encouragement! You’re very kind. Second, kudos to you! In my experience, very few Christians display the kind of wisdom I see in your questions.

      The list is, for me, a starting point. There are a LOT more people who should be on the list, and will be in the near future. In fact, there are a whole bunch of them who will never make it to the list… simply because there are too many false teachers. That’s a shame, but I do feel some responsibility to help others compare what the Bible says with what they’re being taught. In case anyone was wondering, yes: I do hold myself to the same standard. Nobody should take my word as gospel, but be like the Bereans who double-checked the apostle Paul.

      The list was originally created because my pastor asked what I knew about the New Apostolic Reformation. That article is essentially my email to him. Most of the false teachers on the list are there because I found them among the NAR’s prominent leaders. As people find the list, they often ask about someone who’s not on the list. Right now I’m gathering details about a number of false teachers, and will compile them into new articles. I’ve added Steven Furtick to the list, by the way… thanks for catching that!

      You can engage with me directly by commenting here or by emailing me or even by going to my personal Facebook page. Email is best for personal messages. I work to respond to every email, so there can be some delay at times, but I’ll always respond.

      Your last question is a good one! Should we listen to these false teachers at all? Should we listen with discernment? How I wish more people would consider this issue. I’ll share my personal opinion with you.

      Counterfeits

      A counterfeit is something that looks real, but isn’t. Counterfeit money is a big problem and, in the US, the Secret Service investigates counterfeiting crimes. While there are lots of ways to spot counterfeit money, their first step in identifying a fraud isn’t to study all of the frauds. They study the real thing first. They know all of the details about American money, to the tiniest bits. They know what it’s made of, how it’s printed, how it feels, how it smells, and they know all about the security features built into each bill. When they see a counterfeit, they know it immediately… not because they’ve seen that exact fake before, but because they’re intimately familiar with the original.

      That’s the kind of discernment that Christians need. We should work to be so familiar with the true gospel that we can immediately spot a false one. I spent decades studying the false beliefs of Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day-Adventists, and others. I learned what false teachers like Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn taught. I had books and articles and notes galore. What was I missing? I had, to some extent, skipped the first step. I needed to be more intimately familiar with the real gospel.

      This isn’t a new problem, of course. Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia that they had been ‘bewitched’ by false teachers, and had mixed the true gospel with some lies. Here’s some of what he said:

      I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

      That’s serious stuff! We see the same thing in other books, like Colossians. They were divided over doctrinal issues, and Paul had to make sure they knew the gospel… it’s there in the first chapter. The whole rest of the book is about sticking to the true gospel. In Titus, some people were causing problems by teaching what they shouldn’t teach. What did Paul tell young pastor Titus to do? They must be silenced… rebuke them sharply.

      Should we listen to false teachers? I don’t believe we should. In the New Testament, pastors were told to silence them when they appeared in their churches. Most false teachers today have their own churches, or no church at all… so they’re not under the authority of someone who can correct them. As a result, individual Christians must discipline ourselves with regard to the truth. We should “silence” them for ourselves by not listening to them. There are plenty of good teachers out there to learn from. We don’t need anything from those who teach falsely.

      What will we miss by not listening to (for example) Steven Furtick? We will miss the unique things that Steven Furtick says. The truth is, there’s only ONE GOSPEL… so we who teach the gospel will not be teaching unique things, but the same things as every other faithful teacher since Jesus died and rose again. We don’t need a new message. We need the same old same old same old message again and again.

      I’ve written many times that false teachers can say true things. I’ve also said that I enjoy the teaching of some of these false teachers. However: I don’t go to them to learn about the truth. I already know the truth, because I’ve spent a lot of time and energy examining the real thing: the true gospel… the one gospel handed down from the beginning. We can all learn this same gospel by reading the Bible, and we should. The only reason so many false teachers lead so many astray is that their audience is ignorant of the truth. The only reason this website gets literally millions of visitors, and the reason so many write to me, is that they are also ignorant of the truth. There’s nothing special about what I write here, Jules. Anybody can do the same, if they simply learn what God has already said. We don’t need false teachers. I would avoid them entirely.

      Does that make sense? I’m here for you, sister. My whole purpose in writing and teaching online for the past 20+ years is to help people like you learn what God has said, and learn how God wants to use you for His Kingdom. I will help you in any way I can… and I hope you’ll take full advantage.

      Have a great day!

      • Jules says:

        Tony, Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your response! It was so thorough and answered questions I hadn’t even realized I had! This paragraph in particular really was of SUCH value to me:
        “What will we miss by not listening to (for example) Steven Furtick? We will miss the unique things that Steven Furtick says. The truth is, there’s only ONE GOSPEL… so we who teach the gospel will not be teaching unique things, but the same things as every other faithful teacher since Jesus died and rose again. We don’t need a new message. We need the same old same old same old message again and again.”
        I also absolutely loved your explanation of counterfeits!

        How about people like Nicky Gumbel or Derek Prince?

        Also, would you advise that if someone is not on your list but in their material they reference quotes by people on your list, I would imagine that because they are choosing to associate with some false teachers that they should also be avoided, correct?

        Thank you so much for your time and considered replies! This is the only list of false teachers I’ve been able to find and am thrilled to have it as such a helpful resource!
        Jules

        • Tony says:

          Jules:

          I’m very pleased to hear that our conversation has been helpful! I’ve written you about Nicky Gumbel. Derek Prince is one of the founders of the “Shepherding Movement” that caused to much trouble in the 1990s, and – in spite of his impressive resume – is not someone I would trust. There was a lot of abuse in the Shepherding Movement, and Prince bears a lot of responsibility. The basic idea was that each Christian needed a shepherd, and they were to obey that shepherd without question, ‘as a slave,’ and they didn’t need to know the reasons for what they were doing. Much of what Prince taught was obviously good, but the disaster that he started will always rule him out for me.

          Have a great day!

  34. Anders says:

    Tony,
    I agree, of course, that we need to consider the whole Bible, not just a few specific verses. I intend to search the Scriptures on this issue and I believe you are doing the same. I just read about the poet Sylvia Plath who took her life at the age of 31. Some believe that her depression was caused by discontent with a woman’s inferior place. That is a thought I intend to pursue. Does the Bible actually teach that women are inferior to men? Is that how most readers interpret Paul’s commands to the churches in 1 Tim. 2 and 1 Cor. 14 ?

    • Tony says:

      Anders:

      I’m happy to hear that you’re embarking on a new research project! That’s the only reason GodWords exists… someone will say something, or ask me a question, and I’ll think, “I don’t know enough about that, so I’ll do some digging.” Then, because I figure other people might want to know the same thing, I publish my research as an article. Just yesterday I answered a question about Jesus giving the keys to the Kingdom to Peter, and about binding and loosing. Then I published it, since it seemed complete enough to at least begin new conversations about it.

      Maybe you should be a blogger!

      No, the Bible does NOT teach that women are in any way inferior to men. On the contrary: women around the world have been lifted up by what Jesus taught. He included women in His ministry, taught women with men when others would not, and so on. Paul’s words in 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians have been taken by a few to mean that women are somehow lesser, or not used by God in church leadership, but a quick analysis of his writings show that women played a very significant role in the life of the early church. Just reading the beginning and end of each of his letters, where he mentions people by name, tell us that women were considered a vital part of early Christianity.

      You might wander over to Does God Use Women in Ministry? and see what you think. It’s not very thorough, but it’s at least a conversation-starter.

      For the record, there are two main positions on the subject.

      • Complementarian: the idea that men and women have been given different ministry roles by God, including the idea that women should never teach men.
      • Egalitarian: the idea that there are no differences in how God uses men and women in ministry.

      I lean in the egalitarian direction. I attend a church that doesn’t. I’m familiar with both positions, but find the complementarian position may assume too much about God’s methods. I’d like to know what you think, so please feel free to leave a comment over there!

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